Completed the “Intro to Programming” Lesson at Codeacademy (47/366)

“Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind.”
~ Donald Knuth

In the beginning of the year, our friend Ryan posted on Facebook about something called “Code Year”, a program from a free online site called Codeacademy where you can learn coding interactively. When you sign up for Code Year, new lessons are added each week and you get an email update reminding you to sign in and learn more. I’ve always been interested in coding, so I was excited to give it a try. My year has started off pretty busy so I hadn’t gotten a chance to start before, but today I set aside some time and got started with Codeacademy.

Code Year is starting with JavaScript, the dominant programming language of the Web. My lesson began with an introduction to the basic functionality of the language.

Then I learned how to create “Confirm or Deny” boxes and pop-up alerts. Cool.

After the second section, you’re prompted to sign up or sign in, which I was relieved by. I had clicked on the link in an email I received from Codeacademy after signing up for Code Year, but realized I hadn’t even set up an account on! Luckily all my progress was saved and I was able to create my account and continue with my lesson. I learned about variables and how to set them. I even earned my first badge.

I learned the difference between numbers and text strings in JavaScript, and about substrings as well.

In the sections past 4, I got to use the editor instead of just working with single lines in the console, which was really cool. Things definitely got more complicated in the editor since I was working with a lot more information, but there are always hints to check out if you get stuck, and each page or activity you’ve already completed is available to go back to if you need to review.

Finally, I made it to the last section and finished my very first lesson with Codeacademy! Time to become a coding ninja. Yeah.

This was a really cool exercise, and so far, I think the site does a great job of teaching interactively. There are also projects after the lessons so you can practice the skills you just learned, which is great. If you’re at all interested in learning more about coding, I think you should definitely sign up for Code Year and “make 2012 the year you learn to code!”

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